Virtual: Not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.
The worldwide web is amazing. Who would have thought that strangers could “meet” and become good friends? With the exception of Susan Kaye, I found each of the Jane Started It! writers on-line. And that’s how I probably met you!
So today I will tell you, my virtual friend, about my virtual cat. And I can see you smirking. I don’t blame you. A virtual pet is kind of in the same class as a Pet Rock (remember those?) or a garden gnome. As in, being for crazy people.
See, I’d love to have a cat, but I am simply too busy. Moreover, living as I do with three men (who do not see or even acknowledge dirt), I do not need one more living creature to clean up after. Plus, cat adoption agencies in this part of Oregon demand that the cat be an indoors-only pet. That hasn’t always worked out so well for us.
So instead I have a cat meow on my smartphone. Incoming text message? “Meow!” I chose this sound because I thought it would be unobtrusive. Wrong! A single meow on the train turns many heads. “Is there a cat in here?” people ask. (I sink down in the seat and put the phone on Airplane Mode.)
And Internet videos allow me to enjoy cat antics. Like the one a friend shared to my Facebook wall recently, showing a cat climbing into the cupboard above the stove. He was like a orange feline spider or something, stretching his long cat body above the range hood to retrieve a bag of cat treats. No athletic cats for me! I want the sleepy, purry, geriatric kind.
Then I downloaded a white noise app for my Kindle. This has my sons rolling their eyes at me. I already talk to myself, and spy on people in public (calling it book research), but now I have purring on my Kindle. That’s right, purring.
It’s a happy sound, purring, like summer rain. For me, it’s been a bedtime stress reducer. And if my “cat” is not purring loudly enough? I crank up the volume.
Don’t get me wrong, one day I would like to have a real cat–or three. But for now, my virtual cat is company enough. Along with “grandcats” Domino and Onyx. Here’s to Cat Love from afar!